Hitachi and Western Digital will soon be one company. The European Union regulators have given a conditional green light to Western Digital's plans to buy Hitachi's storage division for $4.3 billion. Western Digital is the second largest hard drive manufacturer and Hitachi is the third largest manufacturer of hard drives in the world. Seems like all of the hard drive manufacturers are consolidating. Seagate is the largest manufacturer of hard drives and it just purchased Samsung's hard drive division in April. Regulators only approved the Western Digital's purchase after assurances that the company would sell off some its plant assets, which includes a manufacturing plant as well as they need to transfer some intellectual property to the new division being put on the auction block. The final purchase will take place after Western Digital sells the necessary assets.
So basically we went from 4 to 2 hard drive manufacturers in under a year. This can only mean that competition will diminish and prices will go up even further. The floods earlier this year already caused manufacturing issues and created shortages of hard drives. This will only compound the problem.